Symphony’s May concert digitally highlights classics

Photo Noted pianist David Kaplan will perform pieces by Mozart and Beethoven at the San Bernardino Symphony’s May concerts.
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The San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra is preparing for the third concert in their hybrid 92nd season. “Mozart and Beethoven” will premier digitally Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. on the Symphony’s new SBSOtv platform accessible from their website, A second matinee airing will follow on Sunday, May 16 at 3 p.m.

Celebrating the iconic music of Mozart and Beethoven, the first half of the program includes the famous Overture from Mozart’s wildly successful opera from 1791, The Magic Flute. While this dramatic music is written for a full opera orchestra, in this concert, Symphony Music Director and Conductor Maestro Anthony Parnther has condensed the responsibility to only eight instruments; a pair of oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns. This, explained Parnther, will direct the artistic focus toward the rich and warm sound of the Symphony’s principal winds. Following, the Symphony will perform the expressive Larghetto movement from Mozart’s evocative Piano Quintet in E-flat with piano soloist, David Kaplan. 

Then closing this program will be Beethoven’s exuberant Second Piano Concerto, also featuring Kaplan. In 1787, Beethoven came to Vienna to meet Mozart and hopefully study with him. Beethoven’s mother became ill and it forced the teenage prodigy to return home to Bonn. By the time Beethoven made it back to Vienna (shortly after the premiere of The Magic Flute), Mozart had suddenly died. During this span of time in-between visits to Vienna, Beethoven wrote this captivating Second Piano Concerto in 1789, in the style of Mozart, but with his own dramatic fire.

Shared Maestro Parnther, “David Kaplan and I had the opportunity to record the Mozart Piano Quintet together a couple of years ago, and I’m truly excited to bring an artist of this caliber to perform with our orchestra and share his gifts with our subscribers and friends here in the Inland Empire.”

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Described as “excellent and adventurous” by The New York Times, and praised by the Boston Globe for “grace and fire” at the keyboard, Kaplan has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Britten Sinfonia and Das Sinfonie Orchester Berlin, and has performed recitals at the Ravinia Festival, Sarasota Opera House, Washington’s National Gallery, Music on Main in Vancouver, and Strathmore in Baltimore.

Kaplan’s New Dances of the League of David, a recital infusing Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze with 16 new works by composers, was cited among the “Best Classical Music Performances of 2015” by The New York Times. In 2020, he commissioned renowned composers Anthony Cheung and Christopher Cerrone for two works based on music written by one another, to be programmed with Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.

Balancing solo performances with meaningful collaborations, Kaplan has played with the Attacca, Ariel, Enso, Hausman, and Tesla String Quartets. As a core member of Decoda, the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, he performs frequently in New York’s most exciting venues, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to National Sawdust, as well as creating innovative residencies as far away as Abu Dhabi, Mexico, and Scotland. He is a veteran of numerous distinguished chamber music festivals and series, such as the Seattle Chamber Music, Bard, and Mostly Mozart Festivals, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Chamber Music Northwest, and Barge Music.

“This concert is not to be missed,” added Symphony Board of Directors President Dean McVay. “We were incredibly gratified with the audience response to our February and March digital concerts, and we believe this one will also please the discriminating musical palates of our patrons.”

Recording Close to Home

As repairs are still underway to the Symphony’s local performance venue, San Bernardino’s historic California Theatre, the concert will be recorded at two venues: Hollywood Scoring in Glendale which was also the location for their February performance, and, in a return to the Symphony’s home city, portions of the performance will be recorded at the theater at San Bernardino Valley College.

The Mission/Spanish Revival structure was designed by John Paxton Perrine, the same architect who created the plans for the California Theatre and, in fact, was built a year earlier as part of the Work Progress Administration led locally by Symphony founder James Guthrie. Perrine also designed a number of iconic movie and performance venues, including the Lincoln Theater in south Los Angeles which, from the 1920s through the 1950s, saw live performances by the leading Black performers of the era, including Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holliday, and the Nat King Cole Trio.

Said San Bernardino Valley College President Diana Z. Rodriguez, “We are delighted to be able to continue our longstanding tradition of working with our symphony to produce quality musical programming for our community. Our partnership is vital to the educational and cultural viability of our community.”

A Hybrid Season… with Hybrid Ticketing Options

The Symphony’s online concerts are presented in high resolution digital format and made easily accessible online through their website’s SBSOtv platform using the password provided to each purchasing patron. To ensure access worldwide, all digital concerts remain available for viewing each concert day for 24 hours.

Following the May digital concert, two live concerts – slated for October 23, 2021 and December 11, 2021, will follow. The live concerts are scheduled to be held at the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts in downtown San Bernardino.

Because of the digital option, money-saving season subscriptions will remain available until October 2021. Patrons purchasing season subscriptions will receive links to past concerts and the password to the May digital concert along with their tickets to the two scheduled live concerts.

Tickets for the digital concerts are $65 per household, and single assigned-seating tickets for the live concerts range from $30-$100. All tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at (909) 381-5388. Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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